Last Thursday (8), the Department of Justice of the United States assured that it will not torture cyberactivist Julian Assange if he is extradited back to the country. The promise came during a court held in the UK, where Assange has been imprisoned since 2019.
Earlier last year, the UK court denied the activist’s extradition, on the grounds that there was a risk of the defendant’s suicide. That’s because, in 2019, a razor blade was found hidden in his cell.
According to Vanessa Baraitser, the judge responsible for the extradition process, if Assange was sent to the United States, Assange would be confined in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day until the date of the final hearing. Although it is a common practice in the Americas, the measure is considered a form of torture and, therefore, it is illegal in developed countries.
To secure the extradition, the United States promised that Assange could serve his sentence in Australia, the defendant’s home country. However, the US Department of Justice said they could reverse the decision if Assange “committed a subsequent breach of offering the guarantees.”
Assange is the founder of the WikiLeaks portal, a platform that publishes confidential documents and information. The site became popular in 2010 after releasing a video of US soldiers executing 18 civilians in Iraq.
In 2012, Assange requested political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and was arrested by British police after seven years.